Stories about Design, Code & Productivity. (RSS)

Obligued to Create

Run Grasshopper When Rhino Starts

Just by adding simple codes at the end of the shortcut path, you can make Rhino run commands at startup, or customize things [removing the splash screen for example].

To run Grasshopper when Rhino starts and remove the Splash Screen, you can just add the following to the back of the path in your Rhino shorcut — right click the shortcut and edit the path.

 /runscript="!_grasshopper" /nosplash

(via)

Friday Link Pack

Friday Link Pack is a weekly or bi-weekly pack of links to articles, videos and resources I found over the week. Today, it begins with a video of the Mercedes F 015, titled 'Luxury in Motion,' — that depicts how Mercedes envisions the car of the future.

Facebook Launches Messenger for Web Browsers

Facebook just launched a web version of their chat client. Messenger, previously available on Facebook.com's chat and on mobile devices (such as iOS or Android), is now available through a clean domain: messenger.com.

I had been waiting for something like this since I joined Facebook. The fact that you can access through the web to Facebook chat without having to see all of your friends updates — plus tons of useless notifications — is really good news.

Facebook Messenger Landing Page

Funnily enough, the whole web application displays in pure iOS style. The entire user interface uses icons, colors, and layouts of Apple's mobile operative system.

10 Ways You Are Being Tracked

Among Internet users, I believe there are three major user categories, according to how worried or aware they are of the ways their information can be tracked online.

  • Aware — the user knows that is being tracked, and takes measures in order to be more protected.
  • Unaware — the user is not aware that is being tracked, and obviously does not take any measures to be more protected.
  • In between — the user is aware, and careful at times, but is not too worried, so does not do a big effort to get more protected.

I am not interested in explaining how could you benefit by protecting yourself of being tracked online, but in listing the ways we can be, and probably already are, being tracked on the things we do when connected to the Internet.

When they say its free, it means you are the product — Quentin Hardy.

Being tracked does not imply anyone is looking at you, it just means you are part of the big data compound formed by Internet companies. Free services aren't more than companies being wise enough to make money using the private date you trade in order to use them.

What comes next is a list of several online services, grouped by the kind of data they usually track from their users, and that you agree on giving them from the moment you sign up.

1. What You Listen To

Last.fm tracks what you listen to. Spotify as well, but in a deeper way, as it can see what you are searching for, the trends on artists people is looking for. At least, Last.fm allows you to scrobble what you are listening just if you want to.

2. What You Are Working On, or What You Own

iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive. Here is where you keep your documents, what you use or store; work documents, personal documents, designs, pictures, music, videos, and so on.

Toggl. Lets you track what you work on, but as in the case of Last.fm scrobbling, your input is completely optional.

3. What You Want, Will, or Did Buy

Amazon, eBay. They keep track of everything you search for, buy, or you open — they seek this information in order to display ads of what you are looking for and did not buy yet, so you buy it from them — customized recommendations, Minority Report style.

4. What You Watch

YouTube, Vimeo. When you stream video or music from these channels, your history may also be stored and associated to your account (this is a feature you can deactivate in your Google account, but is activated by default).

 5. What You Did

Facebook, Google+. Like it or not, other people also knows information about you. If your social network profile settings allow it, other people will be able to add pictures of you, tag you on them, and make them appear in your personal profile — telling a story of what you have been up to.

6. What You Search, or Are Thinking on Searching

Google, Bing, Yahoo (well, almost no one uses the last two anymore). They track what you type, what you are searching for, and what you are thinking on searching for. They even track what websites you are going to visit if you mistype the URL in the browser (i.e. typing "youtube,com" will search it on Google instead of going to YouTube.com).

Right, and that isn't all, your whole search history is stored in a huge archive, arranged by dates, and associated to your Google account — in case you were logged into your Google account when searching. You can check your full archive here.

7. What You Say

Gmail, WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype, Hangout, LinkedIn. They track what you are talking about, what you tell your closest friends, and your most professional relationships online.

A funny fact, you can delete all of your conversations from any service, but if the person who sent or received the message keeps it in her account, the service is legally free to keep your message for as long as the other person keeps it online — in many cases, forever.

Tell us what your are thinking, but please be concise — just 140 characters.

Twitter, Ello, App.net. Short messages that leave a trace of what you were thinking, reading, doing. Usually, the content is publicly visible, and in some cases you can opt to make it private.

8. What You Have To Do and Who You Know

Android and iOS accounts (iCloud, Google account). They keep track of your Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Notes. Everything you do, everything you plan to do, and everything you write down, just associated to your credit card, your name, and your location (in case you choose to have this service on).

9. Where You Are, and Where You Have Been

Google Maps, Locate Your iPhone, Facebook, Twitter, Reminders. These are only some of the services that — if you grant them access — will provide some extra functionality in exchange of knowing where you are.

Also, many of them keep information of the location your account accesses from. Gmail can basically build a timeline of where you have been over the last years.

10. What You Look Like

Biometric technology — like face recognition — is evolving faster than ever before. Even though Facebook did remove the tagging feature through face recognition back in 2012, due to European law infringement, the technology is a bit scary — I believe that Picassa did also remove this feature for the same reason. London police was holding an amount of over 18 million mugshots, which does not seem to work that well for criminal recognitions. But that is CCTV. What is actually crazy is that, in social media, we are the ones tagging ourselves and building Facebook's database. So, no matter if pictures were uploaded by you or by your friends, Facebook may already know who you are.

I am surely leaving aside a lot of other ways we are daily being tracked, and there will be more appearing in the next years. But the important part is that, as users, we have the responsibility to be aware of the trade of private data needed in order to use a given service.

Cover picture taken by Sonia Pino.

What Do We Produce For?

It is in our nature. We have a need to produce stuff. It does not seem to matter what it is that we produce, the important part is producing something. The judgement of others, or even our own judgement, is the reason why what we produce gets to be important, and how good the result is, leaving aside the process more often than we should.

In a world with so many talented people, high expectations freeze people. They stop people from getting a pen. And just because they know somebody else has, will, or is doing something better than them, somewhere else. But that is wrong. If you did not even try, how are you so sure your stuff is not better? Or, does it even matter if it is? I don’t believe so.

What you are willing to produce may have been done before, but your personality will always add a bit of originality to anything you do.

Frustration, though, comes due to the fake need to produce more and more, caused by our era, the digital. The Internet moves so quickly that when you clarify your concept, someone else has already funded the idea on Kickstarter.

The key: understanding there isn’t such a need to produce more and faster, but to produce wiser and better.